Monday, May 21, 2018

Your 2018 Giants Draft: Mock Drafts and Draft Thoughts

With the Giants holding the second pick overall in the June draft, only a couple of weeks away, I thought I would go through some mock drafts, and discuss a few possibilities.  I will probably write up on the final mocks just before the draft. 

ogc thoughts

Drafting so high, we have a much greater idea of who the Giants will pick, and yet, we still don't because of two reasons:  1) there appears to be a clear #1 pick (not the mix that often happens, where any of the top 5 could have been selected #1) and 2) the Giants like to go their own way with drafts, especially if they see something special with one prospect, as they did with Lincecum and Bumgarner.

Casey Mize is the clear #1 pick, and the Tigers are expected to select him.  He has pitched very well, and has been clearly better than the pack.  The only negative I've seen on him is that he had arm issues in a previous season (not only last season, but since high school), so that's a huge red flag, but not a huge one from what I've read because he's clearly the best of the pack (though not a generationally good player).  Apparently the Tigers are also looking at Joey Bart, as well as others.  But all bets are on Mize right now.

Picking second, the Giants has a smorgasbord of players to pick from, as it seems like the next tier of prospects go 8-10 deep, which works for the teams picking later in the Top 10, but thus could be harder for the highest picks, because you want the best player available, but the slots are set much higher for the highest picks.

So a team might pull off what Houston did in previous drafts, by picking someone they really like who is expected to go lower for a bonus between slot and what they were expecting, and use that extra money to sign other prospects that fell, with their later draft picks.  Of course, that also blew up in Houston's face when they ended up not signing their first round pick, and thus did not have the available money to sign the guy they drafted later (we actually ended up drafting him, Mac Marshall).

So while I expect Detroit to pick Mize, they could be considering signing a next tier prospect for much less bonus in order to enable them to pursue a talented prospect who falls to them in the second round because of money issues, and thus they would need additional bonus budget to spend on him.  Thus, I would not be surprised if they end up signing, say, a position player like Joey Bart (catcher who many are pegging to the Giants with the second pick; good defense and good hitting; shades of Buster) for a lower than slot bonus (teams can and do discuss bonuses the prospects would be willing to accept and basically have a signed player when they select him, if they come to some sort of agreement), which would enable them to pick a good prospect who might fall to them with their second round pick. 

One good reason this might happen:  all the talk I've seen (yet to see actual analysis) is that position players are much greater odds of making it as a good player in the majors than pitchers, who fails either because of injury or inability to make that leap to the majors, particularly selecting high school pitchers.

Listening to the BA Top 500 Podcast, they noted how high school prospect struggle more turning pro, and given the wide range of possibilities, they don't see why a team would select a high school pitcher in the early part of the first round, particularly because there is such great depth in talent, a team could find similar talent with a later pick, like JT Ginn, Top 50 prospect, who has stuff similar to the top RHP's.  BA noted that going through the history of high school picks, you are not going to find a lot of success.  They did not mention Bumgarner (nor Kershaw), however, choosing to point out Azck Greinke as the last high school RHP (they also focused on RHP, not sure why since there are a number of LHP;  but they basically didn't like drafting HS pitchers).

Giants Draft Thoughts

Almost everyone is pegging the Giants to select Joey Bart, as the catcher of the future, with the second pick.  But the Giants have always thought differently than the rest of baseball, which is reflected in the draft mocks over the years, which is based on consensus knowledge from baseball analysts talking to scouts in the field and doing some scouting themselves:  the analysts almost never can predict who the Giants will select.  Even when they selected Posey, some thought they might go with Justin Smoak or Gordon Beckham.

And when one compares the Giants picks with Baseball America's Top 500 ranked prospects list, they often drafted prospects 1-2-3 rounds before their ranking would suggest that they would be picked in.  For example, Mac Williamson was selected in the 3rd round, when he was ranked to be selected in the 6/7th round (can't recall exactly, just that it was way back; if you are really interested, look at my 2012 post on selecting him, it should note this discrepancy because I thought the Giants were trying to sign him to save money, but apparently did not work that out with him prior to drafting him, so they ended up signing him to his full slot value (or roughly so) just before the deadline).

So it would not surprise me if the Giants do not select Joey Bart, or even Casay Mize, should he fall to them.  I expect the Giants to screw up every analyst's mock draft because most will either have them selecting Bart, or perhaps some even go with Mize, but no other prospects are considered in the mix for mocks.

It would also not surprise me if the Giants select a high school player.  They rarely do select high school but when they do, they have gotten some good hits in Cain, Bumgarner, and Ramos so far.  Of course, there are failures, like Wheeler and Christian Arroyo (and Arroyo is still young, so we don't know right now, other than he failed last season).

Some analysts like to note that the Giants are in on one prospect or another, based on scouting appearances, but remember that the Giants purposefully had Sabean skip scouting of Lincecum in order to throw off the scent for other teams that they were considering him, should he fall to them.  And for Bumgarner, they liked him so much in spite of his three-quarters throwing motion that turns off some scouts, and selected him in the first round even though they rarely do so with high school players.  They will go with who they like as Best Player Available, regardless of analyst thoughts on who is best.  If anything, mock drafts are often like an echo chamber where the analysts have the same players (off by one or three spots) mocked early on, uniformity is the norm.  But that mostly work for all other teams, just not for the Giants.

Fangraphs on Bart, which is much like any other:
Bart has long been connected to the Giants. They’ve scouted him arguably as much as any team has scouted any player this spring, and in recent weeks, he’s emerged as the heavy favorite at this pick, with Singer and South Alabama CF Travis Swaggerty representing backup options. GM Bobby Evans and other top club execs saw Mize (at Vanderbilt) and Bart (at Georgia Tech) two weekends ago while the team big-league team was in Atlanta playing the Braves. Skyscraping Kentucky RHP Sean Hjelle is a target in the second round.
I like checking out what Kiley McDaniel says, as he was the only analyst I saw who tied the Giants to Christian Arroyo. 

And just in case, here is Perfect Game's take on Mize:
Mize has established himself as the presumptive No. 1 overall selection in June’s draft thanks to his combination of at least three projected plus pitches and outstanding command. The Auburn righthander has an unbelievable strikeout-to-walk ratio of 124-to-8 on the season, and the arsenal is highlighted by his fastball that can touch the upper-90s. He also throws both a cutter and a slider, and his splitter is arguably the best pitch in college baseball.
Other prospects I think the Giants might be eyeing include (notes from MBL Pipeline from April, May 11, and May 17 and Fangraphs May 15 and some Perfect Game as well, links above; college unless noted otherwise):
  • Brady Singer (RHP):  While Singer's stuff was a bit flatter than it had been previously at the start of this season, it's bounced back of late, including when he beat Mize in a marquee matchup last week. In addition, no one has the kind of resume Singer has, with three years of outstanding pitching for one of the top college programs in the country. ... Florida RHP Brady Singer, who began the year as MLB Pipeline's No. 1-ranked Draft prospect. ... [PG] Singer's draft stock has taken a roller coaster ride through the spring but he's throwing his best of the season now and almost constitutes a safe pick here [4th pick] due to his long and clean track record. ... Callis on Twitter noted, in response to why Singer has fallen: "Singer is the same guy he has been previously at Florida and on the Cape. The arm slot is too low for some, the stuff isn't wipeout for some, but the guys has great feel for good stuff & the competitiveness & makeup are off the charts. Count me as all in."
  • Matt Liberatore (HS LHP):  The top lefty in the class, Liberatore opened eyes this spring by hitting 96-97 mph in some of his early starts. He's settled into his more familiar 90-93 mph range, and has struggled with command at times, but his smarts and feel for pitching should get him off the board early. ... [PG] Liberatore seems to be a lock to go among the top 10 picks in the draft, most likely in the top seven, and has been talked about frequently this spring for either of the top two picks. The highly projectable southpaw features a fastball that can touch 97 mph, a strong curveball/changeup combination and a newly developed slider and has gone 8-1, 0.93 with 104 strikeouts in 60 innings this spring.   [BA] Arizona lefthander Matthew Liberatore is seen as the top high school player in the 2018 class and BA ranks him 2nd in their Top 500 rank (listened to their podcast)
  • Shane McClanahan (LHP):  McClanahan is a lefty with power stuff that will play at the next level. ... McClanahan, the Draft's hardest-throwing southpaw but also an inconsistent performer this spring. ... [PG] McClanahan throws harder than any college starter in the country and will flash plus with two other pitches as well. If he is able to develop more consistency that he has shown the second half of the spring, he has the tools to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter.
  • Carter Stewart (HS LHP):  ... Stewart hit 98 mph earlier in the season, and his fastball pales in comparison to his super-spin-rate curveball. If he shows that stuff again before the start of the Draft, he could go about 10 selections higher. ... Stewart had about a two-start lull, where his stuff wasn't quite as electric as it had been for most of the spring, but a strong finish could catapult him here [8th] or even a bit higher. ...  Stewart is rated by MLB Pipeline as the second best draft prospect (others: Liberatore 4th; Singer 5th; McClanahan 6th; Kelenic 8th; Bart 9th; India 10th;  this suggests to me that Bart is mainly listed because the Giants are at his events a lot as well as the logic of him being the best catching prospect in this draft, by far, who provides offense as well as defense, a good successor to Buster Posey).  ...  Perfect Game is the only mock to currently have the Giants not selecting Bart, instead PG has them selecting Stewart with the #2 pick, with Bart falling to 6th. 
  • Jarrod Kelenic (HS OF):  Kelenic is the best prep bat in the country, with solid all-round tools. ... The Pirates also have an affinity for athletic outfielders, and Kelenic and Swaggerty fit that bill. ... [PG] Few high school position players have risen up draft boards much this spring but Kelenic's stock has stayed steady based on his solid five-tool athleticism and a strong summer last year.  ... Kelenic will likely enter the draft as a wildcard, as there is already speculation that he could land at a number of places above this on a pre-draft deal.
  • Jonathan India (3B):  No one has played his way up boards more than India, who went from a solid college guy to perhaps the best-performing college hitter in the country. ... [PG] No one had India on their short lists for a first round pick back in February but the hard hitting infielder has been a dynamic offensive force for the country's best college team. While India has played third base at Florida, it is entirely possible that he'll go out professionally at either shortstop or second base, further enhancing his offensive value. ... [Giants connection: he's the SS who pushed Lucius Fox to move back home to the Carribean, allowing him to go the International Free Agent route, whom the Giants signed for over $6M; perhaps they should have gone after India instead, but they should have a lot of scouting reports on him since they were scouting Fox primarily...]
  • Ethan Hankins (HS RHP):  Hankins was No. 2 on our Top 50 last fall, but a minor shoulder issue has somewhat put a question mark next to his name. He did return and the velocity was back up, though his season is now over. A definite high school pitching wild card who could go much higher. ... Hankins has a clean MRI, and if he regains his form from last summer, this would be a coup for pitching-hungry Kansas City [18th]. ... [PG] And don't forget that Hankins was a 1:1 consideration a couple of months ago ...
Both Singer and Liberatore look like a pitcher the Giants would like, based on the descriptions I have read on the two.  Hankins, McClanahan, and Stewart as well, but, in my mind, behind the other two, though Stewart's curveball is starting to move me to include him with the first two.   The others were mentioned by mocks as the Giants being interested in.  Probably the most consequential pick since Will Clark was selected 2nd in 1985, in terms of expectations of what the prospect could do for the Giants (obviously, the most consequential has proven to be Lincecum/Bumgarner/Posey).  

Bart seems to be automatically disqualified just because he's listed by almost every mock draft.  But I think him being ranked 9th (7th by Perfect Game) is a pretty good indication that he's probably not the pick, the Giants would logically be more interested in the pitchers above him, particularly Liberatore and Singer, ranked 4/5 by MLB Pipeline, Liberatore ranked 3rd by Perfect Game (Singer not even in Top 10 here; others:  Kelenic 5th; Stewart 6th; Bart 7th; McClanahan 8th; Swaggerly 9th; and Hankins 10th;  unfortunately, Baseball America has placed all their content behind a paywall, so I don't have their useful Top 500 ranking, though one site noted that BA is also mocking Giants on Bart), plus BA ranking Liberatore as the best High School prospect.

And Mize is almost automatically disqualified because he's the presumptive #1 pick by the Tigers.  But I think the history of arm issues would be a big red flag for the Giants, so even if he were to fall to them, I would not automatically think that they are selecting him, although 124 K to 8 BB is something the Giants has been loving for a long while now.

Great profiles on prospects by Minor League Baseball.  I would note the Liberatore profile, which I'll pull this interesting tidbit that makes me think Liberatore could be the Giants pick:
The 6’5” lefty pitcher is a throw back of sorts as he is not going to light up the radar gun, but he can pitch well beyond his years. He can still touch 95-96 MPH but typically sits in the 91-94 MPH range with his fastball. Coming from a loose three quarter slot means he gets good run on the fastball and can really locate it. 
He also features a 12-6 curve that is just plain not fair for most high school competition, even in a division that features nationally ranked Pinnacle High and O’Connor that has Gorman and Oregon State commit Jayce Easley. Because his fastball and curve are so dominant he hardly needs to use his changeup, which just might be his best pitch. 
What is even more impressive is Liberatore is not afraid to start an at-bat with his off-speed stuff, and will even throw his curve while behind in the count. His mix of command and stuff makes him as polished a prep pitcher the top of the draft has seen in some time and it will be fascinating to see how he is evaluated by teams. 
There is some concern about his upside, because he isn’t the type of pitcher that sits in the upper-90s (although touching it is not out of the question) and does not have a power breaking pitch, he doesn’t project like your typical, front of the rotation arm. Instead he is a rare high floor high school arm that has the potential to be a quick mover. 
I put his ceiling as a number two starter and a likely outcome as a strong number three.
The Giants loved polished and advanced preps like this, Cain being a good example.  And BA had him as the best high school prospect and #2 ranked in terms of talent.  I think the key note here is that scouts have problems with Liberatore not heating up their radar guns with high velocity stuff, when it is clear that he could do that if he wanted to, but instead he's a PITCHER, not a thrower, and uses his pitches more strategically.   Hence why I like him for the Giants selecting him here.

Here is good stuff on Singer:
On paper, Singer has been even more effective in 2018. He’s made seven starts for the Gators, going 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA and a 50/8 K/BB in 46 innings, 33 hits allowed. 
There’s little to find fault with there on the surface. Even during a somewhat-shaky start on March 23rd against Arkansas (six runs allowed), he fanned seven men in seven innings. His latest start, March 30th against Vanderbilt, was a true gem with one run, two hits, and one walk in seven innings, fanning 11. Overall, his results have been just as good as or slightly better in 2018 than in 2017. 
Although Singer hasn’t lost ground on paper performance terms, the chance that he’ll go 1-1 in the draft has declined. Part of this is due to the emergence of other players, notably Auburn right-hander Casey Mize and Arizona prep lefty Matthew Liberatore.  Part of this is due to changes in Singer’s own scouting profile, although how significant those changes are depends on who you ask. 
Singer is listed at 6-5, 210 (he was 180 in high school), born August 4th, 1996. His fastball is his best pitch, up to 95-96 with boring action in on right-handed hitters when things are going well. He can also show a plus slider and has made good strides with his change-up this spring; a recent in-person report from Burke Granger at 2080 Baseball describes the change with “above average deception and tumble, parachuting out of the zone.” One of the few complaints about Singer in 2017 was the need for a better change-up and it sounds like things are going well in that department. 
So we have a guy with three plus pitches and strong statistics for a top-notch college program. What’s the problem? 
Despite the good statistics, several observers have noted Singer’s harder pitches, especially the fastball, flattening out at times this year. This is traced to changes in his arm angle although the exact cause/effect chain is a bit unclear from a distance. 
His delivery has always been somewhat unusual with a three-quarters approach and some whippy action. His arm angle and release point looked higher at times this year and this has been enough to lower his projection in the eyes of some very respected observers. 
Personally, I’m not good enough at diagnosing pitching mechanics to say anything except a broad statement that his delivery has varied from time to time, not everyone likes this, and that he’s had some inconsistency with his stuff this year, though for the most part this hasn’t shown up in the boxscores. 
Is this all a serious problem, or is Singer being nitpicked? 
Honestly, I don’t know. 
If you step back though, we’re still looking at a guy with a major league arm and a strong track record pitching well for a top-flight college program.
Lots of people didn't like Bumgarner's three-quarters approach as well (he's also 6' 5" like these two pitchers).   He was also inconsistent, which we subsequently learned was because he didn't know what his mechanics had to be that made him successful, he apparently just did it enough to be very successful.  Apparently Tidrow knew his mechanics, as Bumgarner could not figure it out himself early on, in his first full season, and Tidrow had to go and coach him on what he needed to do, which Bumgarner credited later, as helping him repeat his success mechanics. 

Showing how well they saw Madison's skill level, in an interview that the draft used to do right after each pick back then, they spoke to Sabean and Tidrow, and it was noted that the Giants expected Bumgarner to reach the majors in two years, something I haven't heard of before or since about any prospect.  So the Giants definitely have an idea of what works (though nobody's perfect, they did select Zack Wheeler two drafts later).

And I'm not saying the Giants will select either of these two prospects (I don't know how to evaluate prospects well enough to make such a decision; but I can gather a lot of info in order to get a sense of what people are thinking about him), but that these are issues that the Giants have worked around previously with a prior prospect, and thus they might be considered by the Giants in this draft.  Anybody who says they know who the Giants should select or will select is just blowing hot air. 

What I'm willing to say is that I would like the Giants to pick a pitcher, because we need a NextGen Bumgarner to come up soon.   But if they think a hitter is a better bet, I will accept their determination that no pitcher was worth selecting.  Because they should definitely go for the prospect who they think is the best player available. 

Second Round Thoughts

Fangraphs brought up Sean Hjelle, RHP from Kentucky as a possibility for the second round.  I would point out that the Giants under Barr has gone after first rounders who fall to latter rounds.  And some mocks do have him selected before the start of the second round, so he has some first round type of skills.

Hankins, for some reason, has fallen from Top 10 considerations, and in one mock (also Fangraphs), fell to 42nd (but he really divides analysts, as Perfect Game still had him 8th in their May 10th mock, while BA had his 18th on May 18th, and MLB Pipeline had him 33rd on May 17).  So I'm keeping an eye on him for this pick, maybe his money demands will drop him to us.

I would keep my eye, as well, on any prospect mocked to the first round who falls to the Giants in the second round or even later.  They went after Osich in the 6th round (he had a lot of health problems as an amateur, and had just had some issue just before the draft, pushing him back).  And snagged Andrew Susac in that draft as well, in the 2nd round, when his name was mentioned as a first round selection.

Another guy who might fall to the Giants in the second round is Nander De Sedas, a high school SS who was mentioned in the Top 10 early on but has fallen a lot and might continue to fall to the Giants in the second round.   He and Hankins are guys I would watch here, as they might fall a lot due to their expectations for bonus (De Sedas more so because he has fallen in mocks, Hankin just seems to divide the analysts in terms of where he'll finally get selected).

Another interesting name, heard on the BA 500 Podcast, is Jordyn Adams, a two-sport prospect, who has first round pick talent, who might get top bonus overpay because of his two-sports abilities (happened to run across this nice profile of him).  They also mention Brice Turang, a SS I recall early on being mentioned as a top pick, but who has fell not because of any lack of performance, but because he's lacking physically, which, to be fair, his father, a major leaguer, didn't have much physically either.  Another is Blaze Alexander, SS (BA ranked 102nd).

Lastly, I'll mention JT Ginn, who got a couple of mentions in the podcast.  As noted above, he's a Top 50 prospect, who has good stuff, as good as top RHP HS prospects available in this draft.   He was seen as having reliever risk but cleaned up his mechanics this season.  BA polled scouting directors pre-season and they rated Hankin having the best fastball velocity and best fastball movement, but JT is right behind him, "with electric life late in the zone."    And has a "cool breaking ball in his back pocket, which is very sharp as well."

Oh, I don't know how good this site is, but it is "obsessively" devoted  to the baseball draft (so I have to point it out :) and has content there on some of the players mentioned above, The Baseball Draft Report.   This post covers college talent, but I could not find anything on high school prospects.

10 comments:

  1. Latest mock from Callis: https://www.mlb.com/news/mock-draft-college-players-get-picked-early/c-278228058?tid=167757330

    "Mize and Bart, easily the best catcher available, likely will go 1-2 or 2-1. If San Francisco decides to take a deep discount to save extra money for later picks, it could cut a deal with California high school right-hander Cole Winn."

    A new name to add to the mix, Cole Winn. Of course, generally, that's a kiss of death, as others I've been named as the pick or rumored for the pick, have never panned out, except for Arroyo.

    I don't expect the Giants to take a lesser deal with a prospect unless they really like him (let's say, they like him as much as they liked Bumgarner). Winn is predicted to be selected 11th by Callis and Mayo (BUm, of course, was drafted 10th), but in the 20's or later in the other mocks I've seen so far. Not impossible, the Giants oftentimes do select prospects who are ranked by BA to be drafted a couple rounds later, or more, and even signing Winn to a deal slightly above the 11th slot would still yield millions of slot space that they can then use with their later picks.

    But they need to be proactive about it this time, and negotiate the deal before the draft. Or at least have a firm idea of how much the prospect wants. We don't want another Mac Williamson situation happening and they end up with the lesser prospect (per BA) but no slot savings.

    This obviously is a critical pick, and I would rather that they pick the player that they want the most, though, of course, you negotiate the hell out of it to save as much as you can, as well. There are a lot of prep pitchers expected to fall into the second round because of money issues, and the Giants need to clean up with them. So I would prefer that they work out a deal with Singer or Liberatore, than to try to save more by moving to lower prospects, unless they are sure about the guy, like Bumgarner sure, where they boldly stated that he was expected to make the majors in two years.

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  2. Just to comment on Arroyo. I do not think he was a failure by any stretch of the imagination. He was 21 last year, and demolished AAA. He came up and showed some serious skills despite his numbers ending up not so good. But watching him play, he had soft hands in the field, and is quick to the ball. He should end up being an excellent fielder. His at bats were better than the numbers, he had an excellent approach at the plate. I suspect he may, if he can stay healthy, make the giants wonder why they ever traded him. We got rid of a 21-22 year old rising player, for a 32 year old who probably has seen his best years. The money differential makes that even more problematic.

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    1. Yeah, I have to agree with you, I probably jumped the gun on calling him a failure, what I probably should have said was that he was a huge failure in the majors last season.

      Thanks for the details on what you saw in him. And he seems to be fulfilling what you saw in him with the Rays so far this season, though he was actually horrible in AAA for them.

      We will see what happens. I don't get the feeling that he's going to be a star, like a Posey or Bumgarner, but even a Panik type player would be very valuable and useful. He was actually 22 YO, but still, a 22 YO killing like that in AAA is excellent, though I would note that he did that in less than a month's worth of AAA, with a BABIP of nearly .500, so huge regression to the mean was going to come to him at some point. Still, a regression, say, to the .355 he had in San Jose, would still leave him in the 800 OPS range, which would be good to have anywhere in the lineup.

      Still, 800 OPS in AAA, while good for a 22 YO it does not always translate well into MLB stats. MiLB Analyst, a publication that does those equivalent batting line analysis found that his 2017 AAA stats translated to .362/.397/.528/.925, which is very good, but based on SSS of 91 AB. His AA season in 2016 translated to a .263/.305/.358/.663 batting line. So his talent is between those two extreme points.

      And in four seasons as a pro, he has never played a full season yet, his closest was in 2016, in AA, with 119 games out of 141, or 84%, which would work out to 137 games in an MLB 162 game season. He seems to be someone who gets injured, for whatever reasons, every season, in some way. That would also hurt the value he could produce.

      Trading prospects always introduces risk, getting a 30+ YO player, even more so. The trade off for the Giants is that they need a guy who can produce 2+ WAR in 2018 so that they don't waste the talents of the core team of Posey, Bumgarner, Belt, Crawford, Cueto, Panik, Samardzija on another lost season, and Arroyo, for better or worse, was not certain to produce that in 2018. Especially with a poor track record of healthy so far as a pro athlete.

      To your point, he's very young, he did very well in AAA in 2017, and thus look to be on a rising path. If he can solve his healthy issues, he's likely to be a good hitter with okay defense at 3B (or better), for cheap for a number of years.

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    2. I'm still okay with the trade. We could not afford to go in with huge question marks at 3B and CF, especially with the decline of Posey's power, as well as Pence's decline.

      I'm okay with Longoria's contract. We got rid of Span's contract in the trade, so one way to look at Longoria's 2018 season is that we are getting him for free, as the money basically evened out, and Span was useless for us.

      And between Span's sunk costs and the money the Rays gave us, Longoria costs us $12M per season on average, or roughly 1.2 WAR per season over the life of the contract, or 6.0 WAR total. He's on pace to produce 2+ WAR, so he could be paid off in 2-3 seasons.

      Another way to look at it is Span cost us 1.1 wins last season, overall, while Longoria, for the same cost this season, is on pace to produce 2.0 WAR, or a +3.1 win swing from his addition to the 2018 team.

      Or another way is to add up all the 3B WAR, which BB-Reference had at -3.5 WAR, which means Longoria at 2.0 WAR would shift the team +5.5 WAR from season to season. The Giants were last in the NL in WAR, but currently is 4th, for 3B production.

      Any way you look at it, Longoria greatly improved the Giants competitiveness in 2018 by replacing poor 3B production, as well as changing negative production from Span and Arroyo, into good positive production.

      Now, one could argue that the Giants should have just blown things up and kept Arroyo. But that's a separate question.

      Plus, in any case, the Giants wanted to win in 2018, so that point is moot, and with that goal in mind, getting Longoria's production was better than hoping that Arroyo figure things out at the major league level (and there is never any guarantee that will necessarily happen with great certainty, some players just never figure it out) in 2018. It's a trade off to get more WAR production in 2018-2020 than they would have gotten from Arroyo, at the cost of a journeyman player (roughly 1 WAR) salary.

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  3. https://www.fangraphs.com/scoutboard.aspx?draft=2018mlb&type=0&pos=all&team=all&page=1_100

    Fangraphs ranks the draftees by talent, has Bart has 3rd best, Madrigal as 2nd best (and close to Mize), by far, over Bart (see their ranking among prospects). BA has the Top 2 as Mize and Liberatore.

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    1. This just came out a day or two ago. Since it covers, like nearly 200 draftees, we can follow along during the draft, and mark off names, to see who the top remaining talents are left on the board (hence their name), when our second, third, fourth, fifth, and perhaps even more rounds.

      I would love to see some explanation as to why they rate Bart so much higher on their board than I've seen on other boards.

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    2. MLB Pipeline has updated their top rankings: http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018?list=draft

      Bart is now 6th on their list, but Singer is now 2nd in talent, behind Mize. Liberatore stays in 4th (Madrigal 3rd; Giants purportedly not into him, but that could be a ruse too, we won't know until they announce their pick).

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  4. https://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=15237

    Perfect Game had another mock draft up on May 24, and they like Bart over Singer or Stewart for the Giants.

    What I thought was more interesting were the names that they listed at the end as top rated (by PG) prospects who were still on the board after their first round mock.

    Keep your eyes out for these players, as well as any mocked players who fall for some reason:

    • Lineras Torres Jr., RHP, Beacon HS (N.Y.)
    • Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky
    • Osiris Johnson, SS, Encinal HS (Calif.)
    • Nander De Sedas, SS, Montverde Academy (Fla.)
    • JT Ginn, RHP, Brandon HS (Miss.)

    Hjelle has been mentioned by FG as a name to watch for in the second round for the Giants. I've heard Ginn's name (BA podcast) as a prospect who has good stuff who could be available in the second round. De Sedas, I had seen as a top prospect name to watch, very early on, probably pre-season, so he has the base talent, but I guess he just could not perform well enough in 2018 to stay in the first round.

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  5. Haven't mentioned yet, but part of me hopes that Antony Siegler falls to the Giants second round pick. He is apparently a self-taught since, like a T-ball player, to throw both left and right, as well as hit left and right. He is both a pitcher and hitter, and has a 6-finger glove that allows him to pitch to a batter as a lefty, then switch to righty, and then back, if he wants to.

    He would be an interesting Ohtani experiment to try out, having him as a pitcher as well as a hitter, and seeing if we can develop both. The Giants under Sabean loves flexibility like that (though they have not really utilized that aspect of Buster Posey, who once played all 9 positions on the field in college, and was his team's closer; I would like to see him take on such a super utility role in the latter stages of his career, and be a reliever on top of all that), imagine if the Giants could play Siegler all over the place.

    However, the catch for him is that, for all his versatility, his expected position in the majors is catcher, and thus he's unlikely to be used in all these glorious ways, as they will want to keep his trade value up by training him as a catcher.

    Super utility role would probably be the team's fallback option with Siegler, in case he can't develop into a starting catcher, and may as well have him pitch in that case, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, should mention draft order and slots: http://m.mlb.com/draft/2018/order

    Giants got 2nd pick overall, $7,494,600 slot.
    In second round, 45th overall, $1,587,600 slot.
    In third round, 80th overall, $738,700 slot.
    In fourth round, 106th overall, then every 30 slots after that, to the 40th round, when it all ends.

    The Giants have nearly $12M in total slot, and since they are allowed to go 5% over without penalty, have an additional almost $600K to play with in terms of paying over slot.

    Plus whatever money they can sign the #2 pick to below slot. However, the Giants have not played that game all that well in the past, ending up paying Williamson slot even though BA ranked him 3-4 rounds later. Hopefully, having the second pick means that they can negotiate with the prospects that they like the best for the #2 pick, and get a pre-draft agreement with the prospect they want (barring a Mize surprise) for ensured savings on slot with that prospect.

    With enough savings, the Giants could take fliers on prospects that they like who had fallen to latter rounds (and want more money), like Corry last season, and Jalen Miller previously. I think we got Logan Webb that way as well.

    Heck, the Giants might just select a bunch of prospects above slot, instead of one here or there, since they potentially have anywhere from $1-2M extra that they can spend on signing bonuses.

    It might also enable them to sign a handful of their 30-40 round draftees, who they typically take fliers on, just in case they can afford them (but at minimum, want to learn more about the prospect since they are allowed to stay in contact with them for a while).

    They might also sign a bunch of guys in round 11-20 to $100-200K bonuses, guys who fell but might be willing to sign for that much rather than go back for their senior year (or even forgo college for some, that's how we got Clayton Blackburn in one draft).

    I would be disappointed if the Giants do not do a lot of the above tricks of the trade that they have done in the past, but, with so much overslot that they can do in this draft, can pull off a lot more tricks this draft in order to fill the talent pipeline with good prospects.

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